While all that was stewing in my brain, my therapist and I talked about the things I was struggling with . She recommended a book called The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, and an episode of Brené Brown’s excellent podcast ‘Unlocking Us’, in which Sonya Renee Taylor comes on as a guest to speak about the book. I’ve not had a chance to read the full book yet, but the podcast alone has blown my tiny mind. All of the questions I asked in that post have been addressed simply by hearing Sonya Renee Taylor speak.
Her approach centres around a concept that she calls ‘the ladder’. The ladder is the hierarchy of bodies upheld by our oppressive society: the colour of your skin, whether you’re thin or fat, whether you’re disabled or not, how closely you conform to society’s beauty standards, your age, your transness or cisness. I hadn't realised it before, but most oppression in our society is based on the body, and on judging other people based on what they look like. Even wealth and class is often rooted deeply within the body; our size, appearance and how free we are to climb the ladder and gain status based on our body varied depending on our financial and social power.
I'm bent over the sofa, naked. My lover is punching my arse. Every thump sends deep vibrations echoing through my body. They would be spanking me if they could, but it would wake the baby. Punching is quieter.
This is the first time our little one has napped without being held. They're one year old. During lockdown, without any outside support and with a baby who only sleeps on my body, we've had barely any opportunities for adult play between the two of us.
I've been craving a beating for months. This is the first chance we've had.
During disasters like this pandemic, artists and writers are more valuable than ever. We need people to document history, process the present, uplift us, and create space for us to work through our emotions about what is happening to the most vulnerable members of our society.
While all this is going on it can be hard to think about anything else. And I will write more about the pandemic and its social context. But I also want to continue writing about the other things that matter to me. The other issues in our society haven't gone away just because something big and new is happening.
People talking about gender affirming healthcare and harm reduction for trans people continue to run into hostility from those who would prefer it if trans folk didn't exist. A statement of trans solidarity signed by hundreds of feminists was recently undermined by the Guardian, who published it alongside quotes from a couple of transphobic individuals ‘for balance’. The idea of our fundamental right to body and gender autonomy often gets lost, drowned out by misinformation.
Now I'm pregnant, I wanted to talk about the complexities of being trans, non-binary, and having a big bump - not to mention a bigger chest... As if that wasn't complicated enough, I'm also a sex worker. I couldn't find many resources about being non-binary and pregnant, never mind a non-binary pregnant sex worker, so I thought I'd put something out there. Well, I don't know if I can call this a "resource", it's mostly me talking about why things are VERY CONFUSING in my head right now, but if you're in the same situation hopefully it'll show you're not alone (hiiii) and if you're not trans or not pregnant, maybe it will give you a bit of an insight into what it's like.
I've got some big news to share... I'm pregnant, and I couldn't be happier about it!
I'm 16 weeks pregnant with a small but already visible bump; the above photo was taken a few days ago. My baby is due in July and I'm ridiculously excited! It's the biggest adventure I've ever been on, and my partner and I are thrilled as we get ready for this next phase of our lives.